(République Française, French Republic)
- Location : Western Europe
- Capital: Paris
- Language: French
- Total Area: 674,843 km2
- Currency: Euro
- Annual average liquor consumption per capita: 14.8 liters per year
- Annual Beer Consumption Per Capita: 33.7 liters per year
- The most popular drink: Wines (Bordeaux, Beaujolais Noeveau, Burgundy, Champagne)
France Tourism Video:
Most tourists who do not speak French have a very jaded impression of Parisians. I am no exception. My first and most common encounter with Parisians was at a café trying to get my morning cup of java. Since my French is limited to “café and this and this and this”, accompanied by extensive pointing and hand waving, the pastry lady did not show much love for me. Considering that there was usually no line at her shop when I arrived but always one when I left, it is hardly surprising.
The national drink of France is wine. It is famous for its world known wine-producing regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Rhone and Champaign. There are world famous sommeliers that go through wine opening competitions and treat wine as a divine liquid. Any bar, however, offers a wide delicious assortment and it is a common sight to see Parisians sitting in an outdoor café enjoying a glass of wine and observing bustling city life.
France is known for its delicious and varied cuisine requiring painfully detailed preparation. You will have a wide choice at any bistro, restaurant and cafés in practically anywhere in France. Although most of these places will have satisfying and esthetically pleasant dishes, more interesting to me were smaller places managed by owners going from table to table striking conversations with regulars. There was also nothing more delicious than grabbing a hot crepe off a street cart with a smudge of Nutella and enjoying it on a bench.
Many come to Paris for it museums and nearly everyone visits the Louvre. After a two hour stroll through van Eyck, van Dyck, Memling, David, Rubens and Rembrandt, I decided to see Mona Lisa. Fortunately, there are signs leading to the bullet proof glass. It was hot, smelly, and sweaty with tons of flash lights from amateur cameras. My second attempt at culture was visiting Versailles. I made friends with an older American couple who guided me with their ‘Let’s go Paris’ book containing all kinds of useless information. The palace is beautiful with sprawling outdoor grounds. The most surprising to me, however, was the morning ritual of a king. He woke up at 7:30 which I would never do if I were a Queen of France.
Story By Marina Balzac
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